Creative Industries Trade bodies call for Income fund for freelancers

Industry News  |  23 March 2020

UK Screen Alliance is one of the 34 key trade body signatories who have joined together in an open letter to the Chancellor, calling for help for the freelancer workforce.

UK Screen Alliance in partnership with Animation UK has joined together with a number of key trade bodies and unions to call on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide a temporary income protection fund for freelancers.

The group has been gathered together by the Creative Industries Federation, whose open letter to the Chancellor penned by Creative Industries Federation and Creative England chief executive Caroline Norbury, has received widespread endorsements from all across the creative sectors.

The letter is in response to the government’s measures to aid businesses financially during the COVID-19 outbreak, which were announced last week, as “unprecedented economic package”. The package does not cover the UK’s population of 5m self-employed workers, who are already being hit hard by the crisis. UK Screen Alliance and Animation UK wish to support the CIF’s call for a temporary income protection fund for freelancers, who also make up a sizeable portion of the screen industry’s workforce across animation, visual effects, and post production.

Full Letter:

Dear Chancellor,

We are writing as a collective group of organisations to ask that you stand by our highly valuable self-employed workforce, and urgently consider our proposal to help make this a reality.

Your package of support for employers and employees was unprecedented and welcome. However, it creates a worrying inequity between those who now have their income secured and the UK’s five million self-employed workers who are left despondent.

A third of the UK’s creative workforce are self-employed – higher than the national average of 15%. Our recent survey revealed that 60% of creative freelancers predict their income will more than halve in 2020, and over 50% of freelancers who responded to our snap poll have already had 100% of their work cancelled.

We have been working with IPSE – the representative body for the UK’s self-employed community – and over 40 trade and membership bodies and unions from across the creative industries to develop a solution, and would welcome the opportunity to constructively discuss this proposal, and other practical ideas, with you and your team as soon as possible. 

We propose that the government creates a Temporary Income Protection Fund of £15bn to provide all self-employed workers with a monthly income matching their average existing earnings over the past three years, capped at average UK earnings after the basic rate of income tax and with a minimum monthly income of the Real Living Wage. There is now precedent for this across Europe.

Our self-employed workforce are a source of incredible creativity, agility, and innovation. It is vital that they receive support equal to employees and collectively explore, given this difficult time, how such talent could be employed and redeployed to help the national effort.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Norbury

Chief Executive
Creative Industries Federation and Creative England

Association of British Orchestras
Association of Independent Music
Association of Photographers
Audio UK
British Arts Festivals Association
British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies
British Beauty Council 
British Fashion Council
Bristol Media
Crafts Council
Creative United
Culture Counts
Design Council
Directors UK
Featured Artists Coalition
Federation of Scottish Theatres
Guild HE
Guild of Media Arts
Incorporated Society of Musicians
Independent Cinema Office
Music Education Council
Musicians Union
One Dance UK
Professional Publishers Association
Society of British Theatre DesignersSOLT/UK Theatre
Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates
UK Music
UK Screen Alliance
York UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts

View letter on Creative Industries Federation website

UK Screen Alliance SUPPORTERS